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What’s the Next Roadblock for Hemp?

February 21, 2007

My friends at Vote Hemp make a very strong argument when they claim cannabis with less than 1% THC can be distinguished from cannabis with over that amount. This, though, is not the primary issue with the North Dakota effort. The real issue is whether the ONDPC and the DEA grant the permit applied for by the North Dakota farmers, or not.

I profoundly disagree with the whole process. First, the socialist idea that farmers must get permission from any Federal agency to plant any seed is un-American and unpatriotic. I know my friends at Vote Hemp understand the bureaucratic boondoggle they are entering. But, while they and a select North Dakota farmer are willing to spend precious assets complying with the DEA process, how can the local family farmer afford a $3400 non-refundable application fee?

This will set a precedent that will cripple the emergence of this vital crop for the all American. I am not talking about the ConAgra’s or ADM’s of the world, but the friend down the road having a 40 acre farm and old tractor making a living growing hemp for a healthier and more prosperous America.

I understand Vote Hemps’ strategy: the application to manufacture marijuana will be denied, then Vote Hemp and their lawyers will sue the DEA. Even if Vote Hemp wins the court fight at the Supreme Court level, what will we have won? Make the DEA grant the request? Then where will we be? What farmer wants Federal DEA agents requesting mountains of paperwork, additional fees, harassing, and generally constructing road blocks at every stag of the hemp industries development.

Cellulistic Bio-fuels, plastics developed form cellulose, healthy food products high in omega fatty acids, fabrics, cordage, even parts for the auto industry, and more are being developed off our shores in Europe, China, Canada. In over 40 countries around the world hemp is grown with limited restriction, and without the hint of a drug problem. Why is the American farmer being punished?

My vision is to have Congress tax and regulate marijuana. This would resolve the industrial hemp issue and set up a method of taxing the vice of consuming marijuana recreationally. The many chemical compounds contained in marijuana should be researched to their full medical potentials.

I do consider smoking marijuana a vice, but a much less harmful one than smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol, affirmed by the World Health Organization.

The money and effort going into this first application to grow industrial hemp by Vote Hemp could be much better spent lobbying Congress and more State legislators to adopt reasonable laws regulating marijuana and encourage more cannabis research.

E-nuff from Pe Ell; HempEd

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